By The Economist
In 2012 American museums received 850m visitors, says the American Alliance of Museums. That is more than all the big-league sporting events and theme parks combined. In England over half the adult population visited a museum or gallery in the past year, the highest share since the government began collecting such statistics in 2005. In Sweden three out of four adults go to a museum at least once a year (though not all Europeans are equally keen). The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most popular museum, had 10m visitors last year, 1m more than in 2011. China will soon have 4,000 museums—still only a quarter the number in America, but it is racing to catch up.